On Fox News, Wall Street Journal editorial board member Stephen Moore falsely claimed that the House tri-committee health care reform legislation includes "an employment tax," under which, "[e]very time a business hires a new worker, they'd have to pay an 8 percent tax." In fact, the "8 percent tax" is a penalty on certain employers who do not provide health care coverage to their employees, requiring them to pay 8 percent of their payroll; businesses that provide health care coverage would be exempt from the tax.
Claiming that the Obama administration is an "authoritarian regime in waiting," Lou Dobbs advanced the debunked claim that the computers of "consumers" who went to Cars.gov would have been taken over by the government and claimed that government statements to the contrary were false. In fact, PolitiFact.com and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have debunked the claim that would-be car consumers who go to the Cars.gov website would have their computers taken over by the government.
Just three days after imploring his viewers to refrain from "violence," warning them that "just one lunatic, like Timothy McVeigh, could ruin everything," and saying that "it is your patriotic duty to stop" someone who is thinking or talking about turning violent, Glenn Beck staged a scene in which he gave a glass of wine to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and then said, "I put poison in your -- no, I -- I look forward to all the policy discussions that we're supposed to have."
Several conservative media figures have recently claimed that the people who have disrupted recent Democratic town halls on health care reform are, in Rush Limbaugh's words, "real" and "genuine" rather than "ginned up" -- a message that echoes Republican claims about the disruptions. In fact, conservative organizations opposed to the Democrats' health care bills are conducting a campaign to turn out their supporters at these events; the subsequent disruptions have been promoted by conservative media figures and outlets.
Just as it promoted the April 15 "tea party" protests, Fox News is now promoting the disruptions of Democratic town hall events by protesters opposed to health care reform, protests that are being touted by Republican leaders and supported by conservative groups. Following the August 2 disruption of a town hall event hosted by Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Fox News personalities have repeatedly lauded such protesters and urged viewers to take similar action.
Sean Hannity -- who claimed he "broke the story" about President Obama's controversial former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, during the 2008 campaign -- has mentioned Wright on at least 45 different episodes of his Fox News show* since Obama's inauguration. Indeed, his repeated references to Wright -- most recently in discussions about Obama and race relations in America -- have prompted his own guests to comment, "You always want to bring up Reverend Wright," and "Sean, you need to get over it."
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Betsy McCaughey falsely claimed the House Democrats' health care reform bill will "pressure the elderly to end their lives prematurely." McCaughey frequently appears in the media to advance falsehoods about progressive health care reform proposals.
Time omitted critical facts in reporting on the lines of attack Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have prepared against Sonia Sotomayor.
The Washington Post reported that Sonia Sotomayor "pointed to 'powerful policy considerations' in allowing a lawsuit against Visa and MasterCard." But numerous legal experts have noted that appellate judges have policymaking roles. Indeed, the Supreme Court has cited "policy" considerations in interpreting the provision at issue in the appeal.
In a July 1 column, syndicated columnist Thomas Sowell asserts of Judge Sonia Sotomayor: "Performance matters. And Judge Sotomayor's performance provides no reason for putting her on the Supreme Court." Sowell then asserts:
Although the case of the Connecticut firefighters is the latest and best-known of Judge Sotomayor's reversals by the Supreme Court, an even more revealing case was Didden v. Village of Port Chester, where the Supreme Court openly rebuked the unanimous three-judge panel that included Judge Sotomayor for "an evident denial of the most elementary forms of procedural due process."
But Sowell's attack on Sotomayor's "performance" falls flat. While it is not unusual for the Supreme Court to reverse federal appellate court decisions, the Supreme Court did not reverse Sotomayor in Didden, as Judith Schaeffer and Mike Sacks noted in a post on the Constitutional Accountability Center's Text and History blog. Indeed, the Court refused to hear the appeal of the opinion Sotomayor joined.
Sowell's quote can actually be found in a brief by several law professors urging the Supreme Court to hear an appeal of the case.